Week 1 in the MTC
Dierbare Familie en Frienden,
"There is no comfort in a growing zone. There is no growing in a comfort zone."
I hope you haven't forgot about me yet I haven't forgot about you! So listen up! It is sooooooooo hard here dang guurrrlll! Seriously! Day one no one would speak to us in Engels it was all Nederlands. It was awesome because my studying before coming really helped! I love it here the Spirit of the Lord is here in abundance! Seriously I do more cardio sitting in my classes that I ever get from exercise. the Spirit keep s my chest burning and my heart racing! Het evangelie van Jezus Christus waar is!!!!!!!!
So we taught our first lesson on Friday (like two days after arrival) allllllllll in Dutch like the guy (I know he's an actor but still) would look at us crazy if we used an English word. It was so hard and so hilariously ridiculous! I would just say words and ask him if they were good. This is kind of how my lesson went: church? good yeah? god? good yeah? It's crazy because I am really starting to recognize that the language is only a barrier when I rely on my own knowledge. the first lesson I understood everything he said, the next lesson I knew better how to reply and make sentences (kind of) but I couldn't understand at all. When I have the Spirit and recognize I am nothing then the Spirit will let me read his expressions and gestures along with words to pick out understanding.
So you knew it was coming...my first mistake in Dutch. We were teaching our investigator Jen about the Book of Mormon. He asked who wrote it and I told him ancient prophets and then he asked when and I said "sez honderd v C" which is what it says in the Book of Mormon the vC standing for voor Christus but I said "vay say" and he looked at me crazy then I said it again and he says, "bathroom?" because in the the Netherlands the w is pronounced like the v and the v like the f and the f with serious exaggeration (do you follow?) so anyway in the Netherlands the bathroom is called the W.C. or the water closet. So I told him the Book of Mormon was written in 600 bathroom.
Next Jen wants hapiness in his life and so we told him that we find happiness through Jesus Christ and that he can too. And he says but Jesus is dead and my companion or collega says "een beetje" which means "a little bit" so this poor guy...Also he doesn't think I'm funny. What is that about? Seriously I will laugh and joke with him and he just stares at me, even when I said 600 bathroom he didn't even crack a smile. That was until yesterday, we had challenged him to read the first chapter in the BoM and he did! So we told him to read on and read chapter 2 by Wednesday to which he tells us he might read more and I got so excited but I couldn't think of the words so I just yelled "JA, LEZEN LEZEN LEZEN!" Which is directly translated to "YES, TO READ TO READ TO READ!" yeah congugating is not my strong point...not yet.
I have sooooooo much fun here! It is wonderful and the cookies are great if anyone cares to know I eat at least 3 a day.
My companion is sick with the flu so that has been a bit of a downer but I have been able to get some good study time while she rests. But now she's on serious lock down because of the contagiousness. everyone is so worried about me getting it but clearly they do not know me and my perfect immune system. I'm good!
Well children I am absolutely loving it. It is soooo hard but everytime I get nervous about doing something I make myself volunteer first. Our teacher Brother Robinson challenged us to do things just because they're hard which is something my whole life I've been avoiding doing so alas. I really am starting to recognize the power of the Holy Ghost and how limitless it really is. The only limits he has are the limits I put on him. Learning the language of the Spirit is almost harder than Dutch other than the fact that when I can't understand the language of the Spirit I suddenly can't speak Dutch either so...Yeah. I love this so much I love life and I love this opportunity.
I have learned so much and I have taken Uncle Mike's advice to split the paper in half when taking notes. I call the left side my "large plates" where I record all the events of the meeting, those things that were said and the scriptures used and whatnot. Then the right side are my "small plates" this is where I record thoughts and impressions and you know what? the Holy Ghost assigns A LOT of homework!! It is amazing though I will be sitting in a devotional about forgiving people and BAM i know I need to teach Jen about prayer. It is straight cray cray I love it!!
So fun fact about my zone it is 70% Zusters! Insane! in our district there are only 2. They really hold us together and I have really been shown the power of the priesthood through these valiant 18 year olds it is amazing. The Priesthood is truly the power of God and without it our district would never survive. We need the priesthood in all aspects of our lives I can't imagine those that have no idea it exists. Also, the Netherlands is pretty cool with anyone going there however Belgium (pronounced Bell khee uh) is a little picky so today we had "magic Tuesday" which, all I'm going to say, is intrusive. You gotta do what you gotta do.
Well, my dears I will have more delightful news next week I am sure. It is so so hard and I am so so tired but I am so happy! I hope you all will do hard things too! Even if it is just because it is hard. I know you will grow I know it is worth it. Come unto Chirst and feel of His goodness and be healed. Draw near unto Christ and He will draw near unto you I promise! I love this work and I love Nederlands! I'm in love i'm in love and I don't care who knows it! In my borken Nederlands I pray for you every day! I hope you know I am well and I can feel your prayers. Dankuwel! I love you all so much!
p.s. before bed we tell each other "slaap lekker" (not sure that is how it's spelled but it's pronounced sh lopp lekker) which directly means "delicious sleep" or "sleep tasty" but lekker is just an adjective used all the times so basically it's sleep well but is SO much cooler so slaap lekker everyone!